Your Marine Toilet Systems Analysts Take Time to Answer Your Life Jacket Questions 

Raritan Engineering is excited to share with you this week these pointers on what to keep in mind when deciding to buy your next life jackets. 

Your marine toilet systems specialists know that as a follow-up to last week’s blog post on safety tethers, it is important to note that these devices are just one component in a system that includes the jackline and a safety harness (typically combined with a personal flotation device, or PFD) and that these components should be evaluated together as a whole. 

One of the chief questions about an inflatable PFD-harness is whether you want an auto-inflating PFD or a manually inflating model. (Some sailors prefer just a harness without any integral flotation, also an option.) The auto-inflating devices are activated by water or pressure change; manual-inflating devices require the wearer to pull a lanyard. 

An inflated PFD can also interfere with releasing from the tether. Ordinarily, you would not want to release yourself from your tether, but there are cases in which it is better to cast yourself free from the boat, or you risk drowning. Several crew who survived the capsize of Wing Nuts in this month’s Chicago-to-Mackinac race were forced to detach themselves. One, Stan Dent, had to cut himself free. 

Your Marine Toilet Systems Experts Understand the Need to Get All the Facts Before Buying Life Jackets For Your Family

Your marine toilet systems professionals feel that typically, the tether attaches to the harness/PFD with a snap shackle that is released by pulling a small lanyard. As we’ve found in past testing, trying to locate a small tether and apply 30 pounds of pull while you are being dragged by a boat is no easy task.

Bottom line: If you use an inflatable PFD/harness, test your ability to release yourself with the PFD inflated and uninflated. As I mentioned last week, a quick and easy check of the release mechanism in your tether is to apply as much body weight as possibly on the tether and try to release yourself.

The BoatUS Foundation set out to debunk some of the myths:

1. Inflatable life jackets are zero maintenance – Let’s face it, pretty much nothing on a boat is zero maintenance. Before you head out for the day, simply check to ensure the CO2 cylinder is screwed firmly in and you can see the green indicator tab.  

2. One size fits all – While most inflatables are sized as “universal adult,” all have adjustable cinch straps that will provide a good fit for nearly every size of grown-up on the boat.  

3. Not a lot of choices – Actually, there are. Once you get past a range of colorful designs, there are two basic styles of inflatable life jackets: over-the shoulder suspender-style and waist-fitting belt pack. 

4. Inflatable life jackets are too expensive – Inflatable life jackets start at under $100. That is a real expense for some, but consider that a cheap life jacket that no one will want to wear is as useless as a hook without the worm. 

5. Inflatable life jackets are uncomfortable – Baloney! Inflatable life jackets are compact, don’t trap body heat, give full body movement, and can be as unobtrusive as small bait pouch attached to your belt. 

Visit us at www.raritaneng.com/ and see how Raritan Engineering always has more information regarding marine toilet systems and all of your marine supply needs.

via Manual vs. Automatic Inflatable Life Jacket / Safety Harnesses

via Five Inflatable Life Jacket Myths: Do You Know the Truth?